NBC Sports Reporter GOES SIDEWAYS over American Flag Being Displayed at Baseball Game

Craig Calcaterra

Patriotism and baseball go hand-in-hand. The great American pastime has always been synonymous with pride in our country and with honoring our military. For one NBC Sports reporter, however, it’s all a bit too much.

On Easter morning, NBC Sports reporter Craig Calcaterra took to Twitter to post a picture of the American flag on display at the Atlanta Braves baseball game on Friday night. The national anthem ceremony was accompanied with a flyover of military jets. It was all a bit too much for Calcaterra, who posted this to the social media site.

If that tweet doesn’t clue you in to the fact that Calcaterra is a condescending douche, he also tweeted this, which mocked the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter morning.

His flag tweet, however, set off a firestorm of controversy. Many Twitter users were upset over his attitude about the display of the flag. Rather than clarify his statement or backtrack, Calcaterra doubled down. He has posted a number of tweets attacking his critics, and even reporting them to Twitter to have their accounts shut down. Classy move.

Among his tweets:

He lamented the rise in patriotism after 9/11, as if it were a step back for America and humanity in general.

He even criticized James Woods and Adam Baldwin (who both called him out) of being C-list actors. What sort of idiot puts these guys on the C-list?

He later posted an essay on NBC Sports decrying the use politicization of the flag. Among his thoughts were these statements.

Patriotism has been transformed from something most Americans demonstrate out of natural national pride and personal motivation to something more . . . performative. Often, something de rigueur. Unquestionably more political.

We can see it in the silly controversies over who does and who does not wear a little flag on their lapel. Or whether there are or are not the proper number of flags on stage at a political nominating convention. The impulse to characterize one’s political opponents as unpatriotic as a means of advancing one’s own political agenda is undeniable. Casting oneself as more patriotic than the other guy has always been a primary tool in the politician’s toolbox, but it has become a far more important tool in the past 16 years. “If you’re not for us, you’re against us,” is a sentiment that has expanded beyond matters of the literal basic security of our country from its enemies and has become an argument for any old policy one supports or opposes. You can be accused of being in league with ISIS for disagreeing about the ideal rate of taxation for certain brackets.

Craig Calcaterra is right to an extent: the flag can be used for political purposes. However, that is not the case for a baseball game. When he sees the flag and our military on display, he is angered, as it represents all that he thinks is wrong with this country. For most Americans both conservative and liberal, however, honoring the flag and our military represents the best of our country. When Barack Obama was President, conservatives never paired the flag with his politics. Even now, with Donald Trump as President, the flag and our military represents something more. Something far greater.

When the American flag is displayed  at a ballgame, it reminds most of the gift of freedom. The freedom that our military has fought and sacrificed to ensure. That includes the freedom of speech and freedom of press that Calcaterra now relies on to justify his stand. He should be reminded of that, and the next time the flag is displayed at a ballgame, he should tip his cap to it as a thank you and show of respect.

What do you think of Craig Calcaterra criticizing the American flag at a baseball game as too political? Let us know in the comments below, and in addition, share this on social media.




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